Tag Archives: textbooks and teacakes

Dark Chocolate Tart with Oranges and Almonds

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Oranges, almonds, and — obviously — chocolate are some of my favorite ingredients ever. Hands down. I drink orange juice by the gallon, keep tubs of raw almonds on my desk (Target sells yummy raw almonds by the bucketful, believe it or not), and enjoy chocolate — but that’s just a normal-person thing.

I came across this 2003 Bon Appétit recipe on Epicurious by accident whilst browsing for food for our annual Christmas dessert party and knew I had to add it to my menu. I’ve never been a huge tart person, and indeed I’ve never made a tart, but this recipe screamed delicious: fudgy chocolate, chewy candied oranges, slivered almonds — all in a perfect, crumbly chocolate tart shell infused with cinnamon. Although this recipe has a few components that must be made separately (read: tart shell and candied oranges), it is overall quite easy (the filling comes together in, like, 60 seconds) and well worth the time spent making it!

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Here is the recipe. [My notes are in brackets.]

Ingredients

Candied Orange Peel:

  • 1 orange
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water

Tart Crust: 

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour

Filling:

  • 1 cup slivered almonds, toasted, coarsely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 8 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur

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Directions

Candied Orange Peel:

  1. Using vegetable peeler, remove peel (orange part only) from orange in strips [note: you can also use the cutting method from this post]. Cut strips into matchstick-size pieces and place in small saucepan. Cover with cold water; bring to boil. Cook 30 seconds; drain. [Note: this is to blanch the bitterness from the peels. I did this twice when I made this tart, and I highly recommend doing this. It is well worth the extra five minutes!]
  2. Rinse saucepan; add 1/4 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons water, and peel. Stir over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves. Simmer until peel is translucent and syrup is thick, about 20 minutes. Using tines of fork, transfer peel to plate and cool.
  3. Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and store at room temperature. [Note: the peel doesn’t need to be made far in advance; it only takes 15 minutes to cool.]

Tart Crust:

  1. Using electric mixer, beat butter, sugar, cinnamon, and salt in large bowl until smooth. Beat in cocoa powder. Add flour and beat until dough comes together in moist clumps. Gather dough into ball; flatten into disk. Wrap in plastic and chill until firm, at least 1 hour and up to 1 day.
  2. Roll out dough between sheets of waxed paper to 11-inch round. Peel off top sheet of paper. Invert dough over 9-inch-diameter tart pan with removable bottom; peel off paper. Gently press dough into pan. Press dough overhang in to form double-thick sides. Pierce dough all over with fork. Refrigerate 30 minutes. [Note: For the best use of your time, this is the best time to make the candied orange peels — while the tart crust is refrigerating. This will give the peels plenty of time to candy and then cool — and you can also bake the tart during the candying process.]
  3. Preheat oven to 375°F. Bake crust until sides look dry and bottom looks bubbly, about 14 minutes. Transfer crust to rack. Using back of spoon, press up sides of dough if falling. Cool completely.

Filling & Tart Assembly:

  1. Toss almonds, sugar, and cinnamon in small bowl. Chop all but 2 strips of peel. Sprinkle chopped orange peel, then almond mixture over bottom of prepared crust. Place cream in heavy medium saucepan. Bring to simmer. Remove from heat. Add chocolate and whisk until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth; mix in Grand Marnier. Pour into crust. Refrigerate until filling is firm, at least 3 hours. Garnish with remaining 2 orange peel strips. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover loosely with foil and keep refrigerated.)
  2. Using sharp knife, gently loosen crust from pan sides. Remove pan sides. Cut tart into wedges; serve cold.

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That’s it! This is a super easy recipe and I highly recommend it. It’s also great to make ahead, as the tart only gets more delicious with a few days in the fridge. This was one of the hits of the night at my Christmas party (aside from the baklava, which really stole the show — recipe coming soon), and can be one at your next event too! (Or just make it for yourself — I won’t judge.)

— Halie

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French Apple Tart

Hello!


I apologize for not posting since July!  I know it has been a while since I have posted, but I have been busy. Halie and I have just started our freshman year at college.  We are on opposite sides of the country, but we continue to talk about food even though we have not blogged about it.  This weekend I was home for my fall break.  My parents had a couple of their friends over for dinner, and of course I was put on dessert duty.  I wanted to make something festive for fall so, I bought the food network magazine to read on my plane ride home.  I chose Ina Garten’s French Apple Tart because one can never go wrong with Ina right?  This tart was a hit and had everyone at the dinner table raving!  I highly suggest it, its very easy.

Ingredients:

For the pastry:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 12 tablespoons of cold unsalted butter (1 ½ sticks)
  • ½ cup ice water

For the apples:

  • 4 Granny Smith apples
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice (my own addition)
  • 4 tablespoons of cold unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
  • ½ cup apricot jelly
  • 2 tablespoons of water

Directions:

For the pastry:

  1. Place flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor or blender (or mix all by hand).
  2. Pulse for a few seconds to combine
  3. Add butter and combine until butter is in small pieces
  4. Pour the ice water in parts until the dough starts to combine
  5. Make dough into a ball and refrigerate for 1 hour

For the apples:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F
  2. Line baking sheet with parchment paper
  3. Shape dough into the pan
  4. Peel, and core apples
  5. Slice apples and arrange in rows
  6. Mix sugar and pumpkin pie spice
  7. Dust apples with sugar mixture
  8. Dot apples with butter
  9. Bake for 1 hour until apples are golden on top

10. Heat jelly and water until they simmer

11. Once tart is out of the oven brush with apricot mixture

12. Serve warm or room temperature

Enjoy!,

Lizzie

Coconut Rice Pudding

My mom came home from the grocery store the other day with coconut water.  She told my brother and I that she was going to make us drink it because she heard how good for you it was.  It was like a repeat of the time she became obsessed with kale.  I know coconut water has been “in” for a while but I never wanted to try it due to my bad experience drinking out of a coconut in Nicaragua.  The coconut water was disgusting.  Anyways, I decided to try the drink and was pleasantly surprised.  I liked it.  I started thinking of a coconut dessert other than coconut cake.  My dad likes rice pudding so I thought it would be a nice thing to make it for him.  This pudding also has a crispy coconut topping and is made with vanilla bean.

Ingredients:

Crispy Coconut Topping:

  • 1 egg white
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 ½ cups sweetened coconut shavings

Pudding:

  • 2 cans light unsweetened coconut milk (27 ounces)
  • 1 can regular unsweetened coconut milk (13.5 ounces)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup jasmine rice (regular rice is also fine)
  • 2/3 cup of sweetened coconut shavings
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • Seeds of one vanilla bean
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Directions:

Crispy Coconut Topping:

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F
  2. Combine egg whites, and vanilla in a bowl
  3. In a large bowl mix the coconut and egg mixture well
  4. Spread coconut mixture on a baking sheet and bake about 20 minutes or until coconut is crispy.

Pudding:

  1. Combine light coconut milk, regular coconut milk, vanilla extract, vanilla bean, salt, and sugar in a large pot.
  2. Add coconut and uncooked rice.
  3. Bring the mixture to a bowl on high heat.
  4. Then reduce to a simmer for about 1 hour or until pudding has set.
  5. Serve with crispy coconut as a garnish.

This dessert is great and extremely fragrant.  Give it a try!

Enjoy!,

Lizzie

Oreo Truffles


These are absolutely one of the easiest truffles to make and they only require 3 ingredients!  They are so decadent I highly encourage you to give this recipe a try!

Ingredients:

  • One package of Oreos
  • One 8 ounce package of cream cheese at room temperature
  • 2 cups of white chocolate

Directions:

  1. Place one half of the box of Oreos into a large ziplock bag and use a rolling-pin to crush them as fine as possible.  Do this with the second half of the Oreos.
  2. Mix Oreo crumbs and cream cheese extremely well.  I used my hands which made it a lot easier.
  3. Make one inch balls from the Oreo mixture and place on a baking sheet.
  4. Place the baking sheet in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes.
  5. Melt the white chocolate and let cool till it has reached room temperature.
  6. Cover the truffles in white chocolate and let set!
  7. Once the chocolate has hardened your truffles are ready!

I know its easy to be skeptical about this recipe considering its basically just Oreos and cream cheese but the result is amazing.  My brother was in the kitchen while I was making these and he thought the mixture of Oreos and cream cheese was disgusting.  However, I convinced him to try a truffle once they were done.  He couldn’t stop eating them.  Just like the rest of my family.  These truffles are definitely a crowd pleaser and would be an easy desert to bring to others.

Enjoy!,

Lizzie

A Word On Textbooks and Teacakes

Welcome to Textbooks and Tea Cakes, a student-run food blog started by two student food enthusiasts. The goal behind what we do at Textbooks and Tea Cakes is to share our own cooking and baking endeavors from a student’s perspective. Even though we both love being in the kitchen, we also study and do our homework, so don’t be surprised if you find posts about navigating classes and dorm life side-by-side with recipes for the perfect cherry pie. Our aim to so keep this blog fun, but also informative. So we guess you could try and sum up the idea behind our blog with the following mantra:

That being said, we’re (obviously) not culinary experts by any means. We think this is a good thing. As we learn firsthand about food and school, we’ll try and share our findings as best we can with you, from an accessible perspective. We both love cooking, baking, and eating, so this blog will be primarily food-oriented, but we’re also practical in the sense that we don’t have access to a world-class, fully-equipped kitchen. (Indeed, sometimes only the cramped, stove-less dorm kitchen is all we got to work with.) And one more thing…

We both want this blog to be witty and fun to read. We both have pretty different and intense personalities (read more about us here), so hopefully you’ll see those coming through when we begin writing individual posts. And let us know how we’re doing! We’re also hoping to add more authors to this blog in the future, so if you’re an interested student who can write and loves cooking, shoot us an email.

Thanks for reading and we hope you enjoy the ride.

— Lizzie and Halie