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Mini Strawberry Chocolate Galettes

Mini Strawberry Chocolate Galettes

The February/March Cook the Books reading selection, Dinner with Edward, inspired my mini strawberry chocolate galettes.  Dinner with Edward, by Isabel Vincent, is a charmer.  It’s a quick read, filled to the brim with amazing food stories, menus, and inspiration.  But the heart of the book is the relationship between Edward, a retired gentleman whose wife recently died, and Isabel, a younger woman who goes through major life upheaval in the course of the book.  It’s a book about friendship and food, both of which cut across generations.  I really thought this one was, well, charming.

And so much food to choose from for inspiration (as you can see from my very sticky-noted copy)!  I initially couldn’t decide if I was going to try one of Edward’s potato recipes, or steak, or soup, or soufflé, or martinis, or chicken, or fish, or pork.  What I eventually landed on was being inspired by the apple galette that shows up around chapter three.  Strawberries are slowly making their way into season (as spring seems to finally be peaking around the corner here in the PNW).  I decided to aim for a version of the galette using butter instead of Edward’s recommended lard, and go for flavors that I love to share with friends.  Thus, I ended up with a dozen perfect mini strawberry chocolate galettes that my husband and I have been munching on all week long.

Mini Strawberry Chocolate Galettes

These mini strawberry chocolate galettes would make a great Easter dessert.  They’d also be delightful as the final course for a picnic.  You can substitute other berries for sure – I’m definitely going to be making these again when raspberries are in season.  Galettes take all the loveliness of a pie and make it into a rustic, easy to make and bake treat.  They are completely free form, so all you have to do is make the pastry, roll it out, fill and bake.  I added a touch of dark chocolate and some sugar macerated strawberries and called it delightful.

Mini Strawberry Chocolate Galettes

Oh – and I’ll confess.  I did end up making a dry martini the way it was suggested in the book.  I think it may be the best martini I’ve ever had in my life.  If you are curious, check out either the book (which I highly recommend) or take a peek at my Instagram feed where there’s a photo of the martini and tips on how to make it.

Mini Strawberry Chocolate Galettes

Mini Strawberry Chocolate Galettes

Mini Strawberry Chocolate Galettes

Ingredients

    For the Pastry
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup ice water
  • For the Filling
  • 1 pint strawberries, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1 egg for egg wash

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Make the pastry by combining the flour, sugar and salt. Cut the butter into chunks and add to the flour, using a fork, your hands, or a pastry cutter to cut the butter into the flour. Add the water, a bit at a time and work into the flour/butter mix until it forms a ball. Refrigerate the pastry dough for 30 minutes.
  3. In the meantime, combine the sliced strawberries and 2 tablespoons sugar and set aside to macerate.
  4. Use parchment paper to line a baking sheet.
  5. Melt the dark chocolate chips. Roll the chilled pastry dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Use a round cookie cutter or similar to cut the dough into small circles.
  6. Spoon a bit of the melted dark chocolate into the middle of each pastry dough circle. Arrange several slices of strawberries on top of each and gently fold and pinch the pastry dough up over the strawberries.
  7. Place each mini galette onto the parchment lined baking sheet. If you are using an egg to wash, combine the egg with a tablespoon of water and beat until frothy. Brush the egg wash over the pastry dough for each galette.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes or until the galettes are light brown. Enjoy!
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cookthebooks

This recipe is linked up to March’s Treat Petite, hosted by Cakeyboi.  Treat Petite is hosted alternative months at Cakeyboi and The Baking Explorer, so be sure to check out both awesome blogs!

And to Novel Foods #29

And to the March 2017 Foodie Reads

Roasted Strawberry and Rhubarb Coffee Cake

Roasted Strawberry and Rhubarb Coffee Cake

I love coffee cake.  It’s a guilty pleasure – a little slice of foodie heaven next to a cup of coffee first thing in the morning.  I am so decidedly not a morning person.  It takes a strong Americano in the morning and at least a half hour or so of reading email updates and listserv posts before I’m able to really and truly be functional.  All of this can be made so much better if the coffee is accompanied by breakfast food.  Two weeks ago, I decided I was tired of the temptation to wander down to the nearby coffee shop and buy something (a bagel, a croissant, and so on), and the strawberries and rhubarb were looking so good at the farmer’s market, and I’m a recipe creator now, after all – a food blog writer, I should be able to design my own coffee cake.

Please take note that that was two weeks ago and this recipe is just showing up now.  That’s because I learned a little secret about being a recipe writer: sometimes, you are bound to have an epic fail.  The first coffee cake I made that incorporated strawberries and rhubarb developed a buttery life of its own in the oven.  It gurgled, it oozed and eventually, after much whining on my part, it ended up in the trash, as it was totally and completely inedible.  There was much too much moisture in the fruit.  I’d tried to treat the butter in the crumb like you would in a pie dough (not melted, just made into butter pellets that then melted with great drama in the oven).

That’s the great thing about being a home cook.  If at first you don’t succeed, go back to the drawing board and try again.  This week, I managed to make this picture perfect beauty.  I started by doing some research about the coffee cake crumb – that delectable, sugary, buttery, crunchy topping.  No matter what anyone tells you, be sure to melt your butter first and use an adequate amount of flour in the crumb.  This will actually create a crumb, rather than a butter lake in your oven.  Second, I decided it was time to get on the roasted fruit train and decided to roast my strawberries and rhubarb to reduce the moisture content a little.  Yes – I can now see why roasted strawberries are a thing.  They are soft and melty and lovely.  The rhubarb also takes on a buttery softness and, as I didn’t use much sugar, stays a little tart.  My advice is to either make more of the roasted strawberries and rhubarb than my recipe here calls for or save just a few tablespoons from what you make here and use it in the roasted strawberry rhubarb martini that will be showing up on the blog tomorrow.

Until then, happy mornings.

coffee cake with coffee

Roasted Strawberry Rhubarb Coffee Cake
Serves 8-10

Roasted Strawberries and Rhubarb
6 strawberries, hulled and cut in half
1 stalk rhubarb, sliced into ½ inch pieces
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Coffee Cake Crumb
¼ cup butter, melted
¾ cup flour
½ cup packed brown sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon cinnamon

Coffee Cake
¾ cup butter
½ cup sugar
2 eggs
¾ cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 ½ cups flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt

Roasted Strawberries and Rhubarb
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the cut strawberries and rhubarb in a single layer.  Sprinkle with sugar and vanilla.  Roast for 30 minutes, scoop the fruit into a bowl and then set aside to cool.  Once cool, mash gently.

Coffee Cake Crumb

Add all ingredients in a small bowl and mix thoroughly.  The flour should be completed blended.  Set aside.

Coffee Cake

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

Cream the butter and the sugar until it is fluffy.  Add the eggs and mix.  Add the sour cream and vanilla and mix again.

Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Add the dry ingredient mixture to the wet, about ¼ cup at a time until all is incorporated.

Butter a 9 inch cake pan.  Spoon the coffee cake mixture into the pan.   Spoon the roasted strawberry and rhubarb mix over the top.  Spoon the coffee cake crumb mixture over the fruit.

Bake for 40 minutes or until a knife inserted in the middle of the coffee cake comes out clean.

coffee cake crumbs whole coffee cake one piece out coffee cake

I’m happy to have linked this recipe with Lavender and Lovage and The Hedge Combers for June’s Tea Time Treats challenge.

Tea Time Treats

 

 

Herbed Spring Sangria – Friday Happy Hour

Herbed Spring Sangria – Friday Happy Hour

herbed sangria

We had some lovely sunny days here in the PNW.  And then all the sunshine went away and it’s been raining and cloudy for days and days.  Fortunately, cherries and strawberries are now both in season and sangria can be enjoyed even when it’s raining.  My patio garden is very happy about the rain – I couldn’t resist seeing what I could do with some of the lemony herbs and dry white wine.  This recipe calls for a simple syrup with lemon verbena and lemon thyme steeped until the simple syrup cools.

 

herbed sangria in carafe sangria and geraniums sangria_herbs lemon_thyme

Herbed Spring Sangria

Lemony Simple Syrup
1 sprig lemon verbena
2 or 3 sprigs lemon thyme
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water

Bring the water, sugar and herbs to a boil.  Take off heat and let steep until the syrup is cool.

Herbed Spring Sangria

1 bottle of dry white wine
1/4 cup orange liquor (curacao or similar)
1/4 cup lemony simple syrup
8 – 10 sweet cherries, pitted
6 – 8 strawberries, hulled and sliced
1/2 orange, sliced thinly

Combine all ingredients in a pitcher and stir.  Refrigerate and let sit for several hours for flavors to develop.

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