Danielle Noce’s Brazilian Carrot Cake (Bolo de Cenoura)

Danielle Noce’s Brazilian Carrot Cake (Bolo de Cenoura)
Serves 12
For the carrot cake
  1. 2 cups (270g) 1/2-inch (1.3cm) carrot slices (from about 3 medium carrots, scrubbed but not peeled)
  2. 3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon (200ml) neutral oil, like grapeseed
  3. 3 large eggs
  4. 1 3/4 cups (360g) sugar
  5. 1 3/4 cups + 2 tablespoons (240g) all-purpose flour
  6. 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  7. 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
For the ganache glaze
  1. 6 ounces (170g) bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped (1 cup)
  2. 1 teaspoon honey
  3. 7 tablespoons (100g) unsalted butter, in 1/2-inch (1.3cm) slices
  1. Heat the oven to 425°F (220°C) with a rack in the center. Butter a 10-inch (25cm) Bundt pan and dust with flour or fine, dry breadcrumbs, tapping out the excess.
  2. To make the carrot cake: Pile the carrots, oil, eggs, and sugar in the blender. Blend until completely smooth. Pour the carroty mixture into a large bowl and sift the flour and baking powder over the top. Add the salt and fold in the dry ingredients with a spatula until no traces of flour remain.
  3. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 5 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 400°F (200°C) and continue baking for 30 minutes more, rotating the pan midway through baking, until a toothpick stuck in the middle comes out clean or with just crumbs clinging. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn it out onto a rack set over a rimmed baking sheet to finish cooling.
  4. To make the glaze, once the cake is fully cooled, set up a double boiler (or a metal bowl set over a saucepan with an inch/2.5cm or so of simmering water). Add the chocolate, butter, and honey to the bowl and stir occasionally with a rubber spatula, until the glaze is well-melted and smooth. (Alternately, do this in 30-second bursts in the microwave, stirring between bursts till smooth.)
  5. Spoon the glaze over the cake and leave it to set a bit before slicing and serving. Store leftovers airtight at room temperature. If you don’t have a domed container and you don’t want to disturb the glaze, poke a few toothpicks in the top of the cake and drape plastic wrap over the top, tucking the edges beneath the cake.
  1. In our version, we added the zest of one orange to the cake batter.
Adapted from Food52 Genius Recipes
Adapted from Food52 Genius Recipes
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Chinese-Style Chicken in Lettuce Cups

Chinese-Style Chicken in Lettuce Cups
  1. 1 pound ground chicken
  2. ¼ cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
  3. 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  4. 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  5. 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  6. 1 jalapeno chile, chopped
  7. 1 teaspoon sugar
  8. 1 teaspoon chili-garlic sauce or hot pepper sauce
  9. 1 tablespoon Asian sesame oil or vegetable oil
  10. Boston lettuce leaves
  1. Combine first 8 ingredients in bowl and stir to blend.
  2. Heat oil in medium skillet over high heat. Add chicken mixture. Sauté until cooked through, breaking up with the back of fork, about 4 minutes. Transfer chicken mixture to bowl in center of platter. Arrange lettuce leaves around. Roasted peanuts, chopped green onions and chili sauce can be used for garnishes.
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Grilled Flank Steak with Summertime Fruit Salsa

Grilled Flank Steak with Summertime Fruit Salsa
Fruit Salsa
  1. 1 cup Nectarines or Peaches, diced
  2. 1 Red Pepper, diced
  3. 1/2 cup Pineapple, diced
  4. 4 tablespoons Chopped Cilantro
  5. 1 Lime Juiced
  6. 1/4 cup Red Onion, diced
  7. 1 teaspoon jalapeno chile, minced
  8. 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  9. Stir all together and refrigerate while grilling steak
Flank Steak
  1. 1-2 pounds Flank Steak
  2. 1/4 cup Olive Oil
  3. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  4. 1/3 cup Soy Sauce
  5. 1/4 cup Honey
  6. 2 tablespoons Dried Thyme
  7. 1 tablespoon Dried Oregano
  8. 1/2 teaspoon Pepper
  1. Score the steak to help the marinade penetrate and place in a zip lock bag overnight.
  2. Prepare a hot grill or grill pan. Remove steak from marinade and grill approximately 8 minutes per side. Cook to 140 degrees for medium rare. Remove steak from heat and rest covered with foil for 10 minutes. Slice across the grain of the meat in thin diagonal slices. Serve topped with fruit salsa.
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Grilled Vegetable Salad

Grilled Vegetable Salad
For the Vegetables
  1. red, yellow and orange bell peppers
  2. eggplant
  3. zucchini
  4. yellow squash
  5. asparagus
  6. artichoke hearts, grilled or canned, drained of any liquid
  7. sun dried tomatoes ( soft and tender)
  8. sliced avocado
  9. crumbled feta or goat cheese and pine nuts, (optional)
  10. For Balsamic Vinaigrette
  11. ¼ cup good aged balsamic vinegar
  12. 1 cup, extra virgin olive oil
  13. 1 garlic clove, minced finely
  14. ¾ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  15. salt and pepper
  1. Prepare and slice veggies, place in a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Grill them all ahead of time until tender with nice grill marks, set aside.
  2. Whisk balsamic vinaigrette ingredients together until well incorporated. Right before serving place chopped romaine, sun dried tomatoes into a bowl and dress with the vinaigrette, place onto a platter. Take the same bowl, toss in all your grilled veggies and carefully drizzle balsamic vinaigrette all over them, not too much, a little goes a long way, taste to your liking.
  3. Carefully arrange the veggies on top of the lettuce mixture with slices of avocado all around the perimeter. Add cheese and nuts if desired.
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Apple Tart

Apple Tart
Yields 6
  1. 1 sheet (7.5 oz) ready-to-bake puff pastry
  2. 4-5 tart green apples, such as Granny Smith
  3. 1 lemon for juice
  4. 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  5. 4-5 ounces apricot jam for glaze
  1. Peel apples, core and thinly slice each apple into half-moon pieces. Pre-heat the oven to 400F (190C) degrees.
  2. Flour the cutting board and roll out the pastry dough, then drape the dough in a pie pan. Trim any dough that hangs over the pan’s edge. Carefully arrange the apples in a circular pattern in the pastry shell. Sprinkle the lemon juice over the apples.
  3. Place tart on a cookie sheet, then put in pre-heated oven on center rack. Bake for about 30 minutes. Check after 15 minutes to make sure that the edges of the pastry do not burn. If they brown too fast, place pieces of aluminum foil over the dough’s edges to protect them from burning. Sprinkle with cinnamon and allow to cool for about 10 minutes.
  4. Spread apricot jam or preserves over the tart to glaze. To make the jam easier to spread, warm the apricot jam in a pan of hot water. Serve warm.
  1. Puff pastry sheets can be found in the frozen food section of your local supermarket, and are commonly packaged two to a box. For this recipe, you’ll only need 1 of the sheets. Remove a sheet from the freezer to let thaw 20 minutes or so before rolling out the dough.
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Easy Eggplant Parmesan

Easy Eggplant Parmesan
  1. Olive oil for baking sheets
  2. 2 large eggs
  3. 3/4 cup plain dry breadcrumbs
  4. 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  5. 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  6. Coarse salt and ground pepper
  7. 3/4 cup flour
  8. 2 large eggplant (2 1/2 pounds total), peeled and sliced into 1 inch rounds
  9. 32 ounce store-bought chunky tomato sauce or homemade Chunky Tomato Sauce
  10. 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella
  11. 1 cup finely grated Parmesan
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Brush 2 baking sheets with oil; set aside. In a wide, shallow bowl, whisk together eggs. In another bowl, combine breadcrumbs, oregano, and basil; season with salt and pepper. 
In a third bowl add flour, salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Dip eggplant slices in flour, then egg mixture, letting excess drip off, then dredge in breadcrumb mixture, coating well; place on baking sheets.
  3. Bake until golden brown on bottom, 20 to 25 minutes. Turn slices; continue baking until browned on other side, 20 to 25 minutes more. Remove from oven; raise oven heat to 400 degrees.
  4. Top eggplant with 1 tablespoon of Parmesan cheese and spread 2 tablespoons of tomato sauce on the eggplant. Top with 2 tablespoons mozzarella cheese. Bake until sauce is bubbling and cheese is melted, 15 to 20 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
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Chef Talk: An Ode to Onions by Brandy Fernow

Sometimes when I’m teaching a class, I hear someone say “I don’t like onions.” My ears perk up and I can’t wait to change their mind! Generally the dislike is because of the texture or flavor of raw onion. Onions are certainly aggressive in flavor when raw, but cooking them creates a sweetness and tender texture that will only embellish a dish!
I love working with onions – the most common aromatic and essential ingredient that adds depth and flavor to so many dishes. The onion family includes bulb or globe onions, pearl onions, cipollini, shallots, leeks, scallions, chives and their cousin – garlic. Collectively they belong to a plant species called alliums.
In my classes, one of the most common “Ah-hah” moments is learning how to correctly dice an onion.  I will break it down below.
1. Cut the STEM end off and leave the ROOT end on. The root end is your friend!  
2. Place the onion cut-side down on the cutting board and slice it in half lengthwise through the root. You should have two halves and the root should still be on. You wouldn’t cut off your friend, would you?
3. Peel the onion halves – you have two edges to work with, so it’s easy-peasy.
4. With the root end toward the back of the cutting board, slice lengthwise at even intervals, stopping just short of the root end. 
5. Turn the onion and holding the root end, slice horizontally toward the root, again at even intervals. The pieces will fall away as you slice, leaving only the root end, your friend that held the onion together while dicing.
I can guarantee this will yield uniform shaped pieces for even cooking, but I can’t guarantee you won’t be crying at the end. Cutting onions can cause watery eyes or even crocodile tears so guests also love this tip: Freeze the onion for 20 minutes before chopping – it helps contain the sulfuric compounds that make our eyes water.
I always have a variety of onions on hand, as well as bread, cheese and cream – the makings of a classic bread pudding. So I’m sharing a favorite savory bread pudding recipe. I guarantee even those who “don’t like onions” will enjoy the delicious aromas and flavors created from some of the best alliums – leek, shallot, chives and garlic.
Savory Leek and Fontina Bread Pudding
Serves 4
  1. 1 1/2 cups cubed baguette, sourdough or ciabatta bread
  2. 1 tablespoon butter
  3. 1 small leek, white and light green parts only, sliced thin
  4. 1 small shallot, minced
  5. 1 garlic clove, minced
  6. 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
  7. 2 tablespoons chopped chives
  8. 3/4 cup grated Fontina
  9. 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  10. 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  11. 2 eggs
  12. 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  13. 1 teaspoon salt
  14. 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place bread cubes in an even layer on a parchment lined sheet tray and toast for 6-8 minutes until dry and just lightly browned. Remove and let cool.
  2. Melt the butter in a medium sauté pan. Add the leek and shallot; cook over medium-high heat until softened, about 3-5 minutes. Add the garlic and thyme and cook for 1 minute. Transfer leek mixture to a large bowl and add the chives, Fontina and Parmesan. Fold in the toasted bread.
  3. Whisk cream, eggs, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Pour custard mix into bread/leek mixture and stir to combine. Scoop bread pudding mixture into a casserole dish and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes. The custard should be set and the top lightly browned. Garnish with additional chives.
  1. You can add wild mushroom or asparagus to this as well.
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Chai Matcha Snickerdoodle Cookies

Chai Matcha Snickerdoodle Cookies
From 10th Avenue Tea
  1. 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  2. 1 ½ cup sugar
  3. 2 eggs
  4. 1 teaspoon vanilla
  5. ¼ cup milk
  6. 3 cup flour
  7. ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  8. 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  9. ½ teaspoon salt
  10. ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  11. 1 teaspoon 10th Ave. Tea Instant Chai Tea Matcha
Sugar topping
  1. 3 tablespoons sugar
  2. 1 teaspoon 10th Ave. Tea Instant Chai Tea Matcha
  1. Beat the butter and 1 ½ cup of sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer or with a wooden spoon until creamy and smooth, about 3 min. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until fully incorporated. Add the milk and stir to incorporate. In a separate bowl, whisk together the next 5 ingredients and then stir into the butter/sugar mixture. Chill dough for 2 hours.
  2. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  3. Shape dough into walnut sized balls, about 1 ¼” in diameter. Mix together remaining 3 tablespoons of sugar and 1 teaspoon of Chai Tea Matcha powder in a bowl. Dip tops of cookie balls in the sugar/chai mixture. Place balls 3” apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake the cookies for about 10-12 min. Cookies will appear undercooked when removed from the oven; the centers will still be very moist and light. As they cook, they will firm up.
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Roasted Vegetable Salsa

Roasted Vegetable Salsa
  1. 5-6 ripe tomatoes
  2. 2 jalapeño peppers
  3. 2 red bell peppers
  4. 2 red onions
  5. 2 cloves garlic
  6. ¼ cup cilantro
  7. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  8. salt and pepper, to taste
  9. Juice from 1 lime
  10. 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Slice all the vegetables in quarters. Toss with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place all the vegetables on a baking tray and roast them in the oven for ½ an hour. Remove the vegetables from the oven and let them sit for a while to cool down.
  3. Peel the tomatoes and peppers. Remove seeds from jalapeño, to likeness of heat. Place all the vegetables in a food processor or a blender and pulse until the salsa is the consistency you like.
  4. Place in a bowl and add lime juice and cider vinegar. Season to taste, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve with homemade corn chips.
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Croissant Baked French Toast

Croissant Baked French Toast
Serves 6
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
  1. 6 butter croissants, cut into 2cm-thick slices
  2. 8 large eggs
  3. 2 cups cream
  4. 1 cup milk
  5. 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  6. 1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
  7. ¼ Teaspoon ground cinnamon
  8. ¼ Teaspoon ground nutmeg
  9. Salt
  10. Optional: berries, carmelized bananas or apples (see note below)
  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
  2. Arrange the croissant slices in six mini cocottes, inserting a few slices of banana between each layer and finishing with the bread.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk the remaining French Toast ingredients until blended but not too bubbly. Pour the mixture over the bread slices, making sure all are covered evenly with the milk-egg mixture.
  4. Bake for 10–15 minutes or until the pudding has puffed up slightly and is golden brown.
  5. Spoon optional berries, carmelized bananas or apples* onto each dessert and dust with icing sugar before serving.
  1. For carmelized bananas or apples, combine the butter and sugar in a saucepan and stir over medium heat until golden brown. Add the sliced bananas or diced apples and stir through for 5 minutes until caramelized.
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